Raise your hand if you made a resolution to lose weight or eat healthier in 2016 ✋Every year weight loss is the #1 most popular resolution in the US.
This month at Pure Barre we are focusing on Learn to Barre, and getting back to the basics of Pure Barre. Let’s take a second to get back to basics on nutrition as well. Introducing your Pure Barre Nutrition 101 course! Here is everything you need to know to eat healthier in 2016: no rules and regulations, no fads, no gimmicks – just real nutrition basics. Take a seat and let’s get started!
Healthy eating and weight loss is as much about timing as it is about the foods you put into your mouth. Be sure to check out our Pure Barre Meal Planner and eat something (a meal or snack) every 3-4 hours. Avoid starving yourself and going more than 3-4 hours between eating – it will only backfire and cause overeating later on! Need some snack ideas? Check out my 10 Best Afternoon Snack ideas blog post.
Here is a nutrition cheat sheet for a balanced meal!
Portion size: ¼ of your plate
“I need more protein in my life.” This is something you might hear all the time when it comes to eating right and working out, but the truth is most Americans do not struggle with getting enough protein. The key is having consistent amounts of protein throughout the day and making smart choices. To keep the calories low, and protein levels high, I recommend choosing about 3oz of low fat protein per meal such as:
- White Meat Poultry: Chicken, Turkey, etc.
- Nuts/seeds/nut butters
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Wild game: buffalo, venison
- Lean beef (sirloin, flank, 93/7 hamburger meat)
- Lean pork such as pork loin
Portion size: ¼ of your plate
The American diet is very carb heavy. If you think about a typical sub shop meal – you have the sub roll, the chips you get on the side and the sweet tea/juice/soda that comes with it. That meal in itself can provide all of the carbohydrates you need for the entire day! The key to your best carb game is to space them out throughout the day – think a little bit at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You want to avoid the “all or nothing” mentality here to ensure you have enough energy to sustain you throughout your entire day without crashing. Carbohydrates encompass a variety of foods including starches and breads, cereal and grains, starchy vegetables, sweets and candy and also foods with natural sugars like fruit and milk products. See what I mean? Carbs are everywhere! The key is keeping the portion size to about ½ – 1 cup per meal. Carbohydrates include:
- Whole wheat and sprouted breads
- Granola and bars, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, rice and other grains
- Starchy Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn, peas, acorn/butternut/spaghetti squash, pumpkin and beans (black, pinto, etc.)
- All fruit
- Low fat milk and Greek yogurt
- Sweets like cookies, candies, ice cream and pies (limit)
- Sweet drinks such as soda, sweet tea and juice (limit)
3. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Portion size: 1/2 of your plate
Now we are getting to the good stuff! We talked above about starchy vegetables including corn, peas, potatoes, beans and winter squash – well non-starchy vegetables are all the rest (the list is nearly endless). Fill up the majority of your plate with non-starchy vegetables at each meal and you will reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more! Non-starchy vegetables are very low in carbohydrates and calories, keeping these abundant in your diet will help with weight loss and weight maintenance.
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Salad greens
- Snap peas
- Yellow squash
- And so much more!
While there is not a “spot” for fats on our portion plate, I always encourage focusing on “good” fats as much as possible. Fat does not always make you fat! Stick to lean proteins to eliminate “bad” fats, and incorporating 1-2 Tablespoons of healthy fats, like the ones below, into your meals can help keep you full, and keep your heart healthy.
- Peanut butter or almond butter
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
- Olive oil and olive oil based salad dressings
Use our Pure Barre Portion Plate to pull it all together!
(Download, pin and print this file – you will want to keep this one!)
Written by Brittany Chin, RD. Brittany is the Content Marketing Manager at Pure Barre Corporate and is also a Registered Dietitian with her Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. She received her B.S. in Nutrition Science and Dietetics from Syracuse University and completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is currently obtaining her Master’s in Health Communication from Boston University. She loves food, cooking, Pure Barre and of course, social media.